U96 is a dance music project formed by German producers Alex Christensen, Alberto Ingo Hauss, Helmut Hoinkis, and Hayo Panarinfo , known for numerous 1990s Eurodance classics.
The name comes from the well-known movie Das Boot about the German submarine U 96 from the Second World War. The project's first hit Das Boot (1991) is a techno remake of the film's title melody, which had been originally composed by Klaus Doldinger. An album of the same name was also number one in the German charts. This album paved the way for the commercial breakthrough of techno and house artists in Germany.
The experimental follow-up album 'Replugged' was released in 1993, and saw the group embracing the sound of 1980s electropop, ambient sounds and disco, and was likewise commercially successful despite not being necessarily original. It contained top 10 hits such as Love Sees No Colour and Night in Motion, both of which possessed strong 1980s techno-pop melodies in the vein of groups such as the Pet Shop Boys and New Order. In addition, calmer titles such as The One Russian and Without You, could be regarded as forerunners of what is now known as trip-hop.
The third album Club Bizarre was released in 1995 and indicated another change in sound. Club Bizarre mixed the techno-pop influence with fast Euro trance-like sounds throughout the majority of the album. The hit singles from the album were the piano-led Love religion (featuring vocalist Daisy Dee), the title track Club Bizarre with "classical" harmonies (which was reused later by Brooklyn Bounce) and the rave-influenced Movin'.
Motor Music also released Club Bizarre as an Interactive CD-ROM. The audio part of this CD-ROM includes several music tracks and the multimedia part features a discography, interviews with Alex Christensen and a neat little game for Mac OS and Windows PC.
In 1996 the fourth album, 'Heaven' was released. The album had a commercial sound, still containing some electropop influences, but also a number of hi-NRG Eurodance tracks. On this album new singer Dea-Li (Dorothy Lapi) was featured, she participated as vocalist on four titles.
In the following years singles Seven Wonders (1997), Energie (1998), Beweg Dich, Baby (1998) and finally Das Boot 2001 (2000) were released. Instead of a new regular album, U96 released the compilation Best Of 1991 - 2001 with some new songs from unpublished album Rhythm Of Life. Their last song We Call It Love was released in 2003 as a promo single only. They returned to the German Top 30 charts in 2006 with their downtempo hit Vorbei which featured the vocals of guest singer Ben.